Officials at the Army and Navy academies are investigating whether hand signs flashed by students standing behind a reporter during a TV interview were intended to convey a message of white supremacy.

The incident involved two West Point cadets and one Naval Academy midshipman who were behind ESPN’s Rece Davis as he reported on the sideline before the annual rivalry game Saturday in Philadelphia.

“West Point is looking into the matter,” Lt. Col. Chris Ophardt told The Post in an email. “At this time, we do not know the intent of the cadets.”

Cmdr. Alana Garas, a spokesperson for the Naval Academy, said in a statement to the Associated Press, “we are aware and will be looking into it.”

The gesture, which is open to interpretation, resembles the common one used to indicate “OK,” but with the hand pointing downward. In September, it was moved from a trolling gesture to a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League, which maintains a database of hate symbols. In doing so, the ADL was careful to note on its website that the gesture has multiple messages.

“The overwhelming usage of the ‘okay’ hand gesture today is still its traditional purpose as a gesture signifying assent or approval,” the ADL post reads. “As a result, someone who uses the symbol cannot be assumed to be using the symbol in either a trolling or, especially, white supremacist context unless other contextual evidence exists to support the contention. Since 2017, many people have been falsely accused of being racist or white supremacist for using the ‘okay’ gesture in its traditional and innocuous sense.”

It went on to say, “Because of the traditional meaning of the ‘okay’ hand gesture, as well as other usages unrelated to white supremacy, particular care must be taken not to jump to conclusions about the intent behind someone who has used the gesture.”

Last week, West Point officials dropped the “GFBD” slogan used by the football team after learning of its association with white supremacist groups. An abbreviation for the phrase, “God forgives, brothers don’t,” it has appeared for several years on a rally flag carried into games by the Black Knights, and it reportedly was featured on some team-related merchandise. A hashtag, #GFBD, has also been used online by supporters of the team.

According to the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center, the slogan and its abbreviation are popular among members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, a white supremacist prison gang. The ADL has also described “GFBD” as a phrase “shared” by such groups with motorcycle gangs and “intended to reinforce group loyalty” or to warn of never “snitching” on fellow members.

In a statement to The Post, an academy spokesperson wrote that a “thorough investigation” showed “that the Army football team began the use of the skull and crossbones flag with the initials in the mid-1990s. The football team continued to use the motto until leaders at the academy were made aware that the phrase is also associated with extremist groups.

“The motto was originally used to emphasize teamwork, loyalty, and toughness. The academy immediately discontinued using it upon notification of its tie to hate groups.”

Last year, the U.S. Coast Guard reprimanded an officer who used a similar hand sign during a live MSNBC broadcast. The officer, with 23 years in uniform, was not identified by the Coast Guard, but received a letter of censure signed by Capt. John Reed.

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